The Dangers of Cleaning the Ears with Cotton Bud


Cleaning the Ears with Cotton Bud

I am sure you agree with me that cleaning the ears with cotton bud could be a soothing and pleasurable experience; I enjoy it, and so do my kids.


Regardless of how gentle and soothing it maybe to clean our ears with any choice objects, we have to stop cleaning our ears daily.


Recent guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery(AAO-HNS) tell us that it is not a good habit and we might be doing our ears more harm.

Earwax is a sticky shield that protects your eardrums from bacteria and dirt.
“Accumulation of cerumen (or ear wax), caused by a failure of the self-cleaning mechanism, is one of the most common reasons why patients seek medical care for ear-related problems.”


“About 90 percent of adults believe that ears should be cleaned”

says AAO-HNS, citing a study.

Respondents of the study add that they regularly clean their ears as well as their children’s.

The AAO iterate that

“The practice of cleaning one’s ears has a strong familiar influence”

— it passes from the parents to the kids and continues throughout the child’s adulthood.

Why Should We Stop Cleaning the Ears With Cotton ?

The earwax we are cleaning out is our ears’ protection.
Our ears are self cleansing with the utilization of the earwax which also lubricates and protects the ears by its ability to trap dirt and bacteria.


Whenever water gets inside the ear, the earwax acts as a waterproof lining for the ear canal, thus protecting the ears from irritation.


Sometimes people go as far as using feathers, ball pen tips and covers, match sticks to clean the ears.

The experts say the ear should not be cleaned at all. Click To Tweet


Most of us believe if our ears are not cleaned, the ear wax will accumulate inside our ears. Study has shown that the ears have tiny microscopic hair like structures, the Cilia , which prevent the earwax from piling up in the ears.


The cilia ensures that the earwax is gradually and slowly carried away through the ear canal.


Trying to remove the earwax may cause more harm than good. Click To Tweet

The earwax is pushed further inside our ears in attempt to clean our ears and the wax accumulates inside.


This accumulation of earwax can cause the blockage of the ear canal.
Problems like hearing loss, itching, discharge, odor, or worse, infection can be caused by the ear canal blockage.


How then do we take Care of the Ear?
The external ear should be washed with a cloth ( or clean towel) .

Don’t insert anything inside the ear canal .

Some people produce more earwax than others.

There are effective home remedies for minor wax build up.
For healthy ears, with absolutely no ear drum problems, try placing a few drops of mineral or baby oil in the ear.

Dr. Boris Chernobilsky, assistant clinical professor of otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine in the U.S., told

“I prefer mineral oil to baby oil since it is inert and does not have any fragrances that people with allergies or sensitive skin may react to,”

When you lie down with your ear faced downwards for a few minutes, placing a towel over a pillow, the oil will slip off with the wax, contained in it.

If you notice your earwax has built up or you have tried the home remedy for minor wax build up and you’re worried, kindly consult a physician.

So what is your take? Do you use cotton bud to clean your ears and that of your little ones?

Let’s hear your views

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology –


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